“It’s Like Getting to Pittsburgh”: An Interview With Bud Smith

About two years ago I left grad school and got a big boy job. And it was as if someone flipped a switch behind the scenes of my life: all of a sudden, I felt free. And for the first time in a long while, I was able to read books. I could read for fun. I could read without having to worry about wasting time, without having to feel guilty about reading for no other reason than to enjoy it. So I bought books, I bought them from all kinds of stores, from websites, from yard sales. It was great, and I was constantly looking for new stuff to read but didn’t know what to look for. Then I realized that back when I did read books – back before grad school – I had briefly touched upon this world of independent literature that felt so wild and free. So I went back to see what was up, to see what I should be reading, and by convoluted paths over recommendations and tracing out who’s friends with who and mapping out which presses put out which books and etc. and so on, I remember at some point just staring at the evocative and bold cover of Double Bird on the Maudlin House website and thinking “I bet this is good.” Then I looked up some of Bud’s writing and decided “ok, yeah, this is good,” and ordered the dang thing.

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Sunday Stories: “The Mating Rituals of Turtles”

The Mating Rituals of Turtles
by Donna Hemans


When it is not nesting season, sea turtles may migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles.

We’re in Treasure Beach at a literary festival. Rain is coming down around us, pounding the tent, thrumming against it like a thousand hearts beating. Water pools on the ground and on the top of the tent, which dips in places under the weight. Mud oozes beneath our feet and chairs. A songwriter thrums a guitar, and talks over it, explaining the poetry of a Bob Marley song. Together—the rain beating on the tent, the guitar, the man’s voice, the breeze coming off the sea, the sea itself roiling with angry waves—it is poetic, romantic even. I don’t want to leave at all. But it’s the last day of the festival, and besides it’s not even the primary purpose of our trip. We happened upon it.

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